The City Government of Makati announced on Monday it has imposed mandatory quarantine for persons either confirmed or suspected to be infected with an infectious or communicable disease such as the coronavirus.
Residents, workers and all other persons in the city are also required to wear face masks while outdoors or in public places while the country is under the state of public health emergency or similar declarations.
Mayor Abigail Binay said the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently passed Ordinance No. 2020-088, or The Mandatory Quarantine Ordinance of the City of Makati, and Ordinance No. 2020-089 mandating the wearing of face masks or other protective gear outside the home while the city is dealing with a public health emergency. Both impose stiff penalties and even imprisonment on violators.
“We pushed for these new ordinances mainly to reinforce current efforts to stem the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. But their purpose extends beyond the current pandemic to cover similar health emergencies in the future. With these legislations in place, we would be able to take swift and resolute measures to effectively stop the spread of infectious diseases,” said Binay.
City Ordinance No. 2020-088 requires any person who is infected or suspected to be infected with an infectious or communicable disease to be placed under mandatory quarantine for a period of seven days or longer as determined by the guidelines and protocols issued by the Department of Health, the Makati Health Department or other governing bodies. Current Department of Health protocols for COVID-19 prescribe a 14-day quarantine.
Moreover, any person who has been in contact with an infected person, PUI (person under investigation) or PUM (person under monitoring) shall be placed under mandatory home quarantine for seven days or longer, based on DOH guidelines, or shall be quarantined in places or institutions designated as quarantine areas by the DOH, MHD or other governing bodies.
A person under quarantine is prohibited from establishing contact or making personal contact with other persons except medical frontliners or health workers treating them.
First-time and second-time offenders will be fined P5,000, while those who violate the ordinance three times or more will face up to one-year imprisonment in addition to the P5,000-fine.
The ordinance, however, does not apply to persons afflicted with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Sexually Transmitted Infections or other kinds of infectious/communicable diseases that do not call for mandatory quarantine for the prevention of its transmission.
City Ordinance No. 2020-089, on the other hand, requires all persons within the territorial jurisdiction of Makati City to wear face masks or other similar protective gear when outside the premises of their home during the existence of a state of public health emergency or similar declarations, such as the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Penalties for violations are as follows: First offense: A fine of P1,000; Second offense: A fine of P3,000; Third and succeeding offenses: A fine of P5,000 and/or a maximum of six months imprisonment upon the discretion of the court.
Under the ordinance, wearing of face masks or other similar protective equipment is likewise mandatory in the common areas of condominiums, hotels, motels, apartments, apartelles and the like.
It also directs establishments and transport services to require all persons entering or boarding them to wear face masks or other similar protective equipment. The establishment or transport service may refuse access to persons not wearing face masks or other similar protective equipment during the said period.
Protective equipment that may be used include face shields, ear-loop masks, cloth masks, handkerchiefs, scarfs, indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks and other similar protective equipment as may be deemed necessary to protect the wearer and to prevent the spread of infection or illness.
Meanwhile, Makati has also started constructing four additional emergency quarantine facilities to augment the capacity of hospitals catering to patients with coronavirus disease and persons under investigation.
The additional facilities, according to Mayor Binay, are being built in partnership with several private sector donors. CWTA Architecture and Design Studio created and designed the easy-to-build emergency facilities.
Binay said three temporary structures will be built at Pembo Elementary School and one at the parking area of Ospital ng Makati. The construction of four quarantine facilities is expected to be completed immediately.
“We have built additional quarantine facilities to further augment the capacity of our public hospital. This is to ensure that we have enough facilities for our PUIs and to make sure that no people who are under quarantine will be forced to go home,” the city chief executive said.
“We have taken strategic measures to battle this pandemic and flatten the curve of the virus. The city will continue to think of ways to make sure that every Makatizen is safe and healthy,” she added.
Each facility, which is made of wooden frames and Polyethene sheet, houses 15 beds, sanitation and disinfection areas, a testing box, and a lounge for nurses.
Last February, the city converted the Makati Friendship Suites in Barangay Cembo into a quarantine facility to accommodate 100 persons under investigation.
Barangay health centers have also put up their own isolation areas for those with COVID-19 symptoms.